Automation Is The Key To A Better Dental Patient Experience
Patient acquisition rates and patient attrition rates are equally important to dentists because they need to keep attracting more patients than they lose. If your dental practice is struggling with this, you should consider evaluating your patient experience and implementing an automated and patient-centric system for providing an exceptional experience for your patients.
The nature and quality of your patient experience have an impact on your dental practice’s reputation and productivity. If your current patients aren’t satisfied or happy after an appointment with you, chances are they may be unwilling to return and hesitant to recommend your service to prospective patients. The good news is your patient experience can be significantly improved by simply prioritizing your patients and ensuring their experience with your dental practice is as seamless and smooth as possible.
Automation is the key to improving your patient experience. Your strategy for providing quality patient experience is flawed if it doesn’t include a system that works even when you’re not working. Your patient’s dental healthcare needs exist and persist outside the hours of your appointment with them or the four walls of your dental practice. Your patients should continue to benefit from their relationship with you and your practice before, during and after their appointment. With an automated system in place, you can maximize your patient experience, reduce your patient attribution rate, gain more referrals and positive reviews, attract more patients and ultimately, generate more revenue.
In this article, we discuss six ways you can improve your patient experience. You will also learn about the automated patient-centric tools that you need to integrate into your dental practice’s operation so your patients can fully enjoy your dental healthcare service.
How To Improve Your Dental Patient Experience
- Prioritize Your Patients
Much like your team members—the dental professionals who work with you in your dental practice—your patients are part of your dental family. Their dental healthcare needs are your concern and frankly, your dental practice can’t exist without them. It is fairly easy to take patients for granted over time. Likewise, it is also very easy for patients to know when they are being taken for granted.
As a dentist and business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that patients feel safe. welcome, appreciated, valued and confident in your expertise whenever they visit your practice or come in contact with your practice’s team members and marketing collaterals. You must educate your team members on what quality patient experience looks like for your dental practice and include guidelines in your employee handbook. In your marketing messages and collaterals, use words and content that show how much you value your patients.
- Use Patient-Centric Tools and Solutions
As you define what quality patient experience means for your dental practice, you should invest in patient-centric tools that allow you to actively engage your patients and improve their experience with your practice. Automated patient-centric tools—such as Live Chat for easy access, communication and appointment bookings or teledentistry solutions for remote assessment—help you focus on meeting the urgent needs of your patients. Your patients can access these tools and engage with your dental practice even when your practice is closed for the day.
The goal here is to find innovative and cost-efficient ways of providing the most value to your patients. Patient-centric tools and solutions give your dental practice a competitive edge by removing unnecessary and, sometimes, unconscious barriers between you and your patients.
- Have a strong communication strategy
Patient-dentist relationships are built on trust. Clear, honest and thoughtful communication breeds trust. If you want to improve your patient experience, you must have a strong and well-defined strategy for communicating with your patients. Your strategy must include clear directives on how to send patients updates about their appointments, information about your dental practice and resources that can help improve their dental healthcare.
You can send regular email newsletters to your patients, interact with them using Connect the Doc’s intelligent Live Chat tool—Walter—and share valuable content on your website. Also, you should have a standard of practice for answering phone calls, responding to inquiries and online reviews and speaking with patients before, during and after their appointment. Remember that communication isn’t just about the words you write and speak, it is also about your tone, mannerisms and speed of response. These are important things to consider as you work on your dental practice’s communication strategy.
- Have an engaging online presence
When most people need quick answers or information, they go on Google. Similarly, when your patients need information about you, your dental practice or dental healthcare in general, they type in their search queries on Google. The internet is a great source of information for your patients. By positioning your dental website as the go-to for your patients when they need dental-related answers and information, you can improve your patient experience.
Your online presence is the summation of your practice’s brand elements—such as your website and social media pages—that exist on the internet. As patients engage with and gain value from your practice online, their appreciation for and trust in your expertise and service increases. One way to offer patients value through your online presence is by sharing dental healthcare tips and resources on a blog on your website. You can update your website with links to videos, dental products and insurance companies that your patients will find useful. In addition to improving your patient experience, these resources can help boost your dental SEO and attract more web visitors and prospective patients to your website.
- Gather Feedback
Improving your patient experience is all about prioritizing and focusing on your patients. With this in mind, it only makes sense to learn about the different challenges your patients might have directly from them. Ask your patients to give you feedback and reviews. The feedback you receive will help you understand your patients better and make the necessary adjustments that’ll keep them engaged and happy with your service.
You can integrate an automated feedback or review collection system, such as Connect the Doc’s intelligent review tool, into your dental practice’s workflow. Connect the Doc’s review tool allows dentists to automatically generate patient reviews right after their appointments. This way, dentists can easily and quickly discover areas of improvement.
- Let your patients know you appreciate them
This is probably the most intuitive tip of them all. A show of appreciation can go a long way to remedying a bad situation or maintaining trust within a relationship. The same thing applies to patient-dentist relationships. Find innovative ways to let your patients know you and dental practice value them. They need to know that you don’t take them for granted.
You can keep a record of your patients’ birthdays and send them greetings via personalized automated emails on their special day. You could also send them thank-you emails after each appointment. Better yet, offer patients discounts or added-value by inviting them to participate in your dental referral programs. These simple and inexpensive practices can highlight how much you appreciate your patients and as a result, positively impact how they feel about you and your practice.
Patient-Centric Tools and Solutions That Improve Dental Patient Experience
- Live Chat
Connect the Doc’s Live Chat, Walter, is your smart communication tool for interacting and engaging with your patients. This tool helps you stay connected with your patients even when your dental practice is closed. Designed specifically for dental and orthodontics practices, Walter is powered by cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning. This means it responds to your patients’ queries as soon as they visit your dental website, allows you to jump into the conversation whenever you want, transfers the conversation from the web to text messages so that no details are lost along the way and learns about your patients so it can give smarter and more personalized responses over time. This tool is perfect for staying engaged with your patients and improving their experience with your practice.
- Dental Referral Program
Referrals are essential for spreading the word about your dental practice. However, they are even more beneficial because they allow you to show appreciation to your patients. Besides being a cost-effective dental marketing strategy, dental referral programs are great for encouraging patient participation. You can do this by offering them a discount on dental healthcare services or products in exchange for a referral. By doing so, you engage your patients so they can be personally involved and invested in the growth of your dental practice. With Connect the Doc’s automated referral tool, you can turn your patients to brand ambassadors. This tool lets you track your patients’ referrals and reward them for their loyalty and support.
When patients share their feedback and reviews about your dental practice, it is an opportunity for you to learn the impression they have about your service and practice, understand your patients better and identify areas of improvement. The more reviews you have, the more insights you can gather and use to improve your patient experience. Connect the Doc’s review tool helps you integrate an effective feedback system into your workflow and gather more patient reviews. With this automated tool, you can sit back, learn more about your patients and focus on improving your patient experience.
Teledentistry involves the use of telecommunications and information technology to provide dental healthcare services. Using teledentistry software, you can assess your patients, share and collect health data and educate patients. This way, you can improve your patient experience by attending to their dental needs from the convenience of their homes.
Patient experience is key to increasing your patient acquisition rate and reducing your patient attrition rates. By integrating automated patient-centric tools into your dental practice, you can keep your patients happy, attract more patients and ultimately increase your revenue. Contact Connect the Doc to learn more about improving your patient experience.